Wednesday: Future Fantastic

Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely mothers out there. I hope your day is going well, and I hope, if there’s a dim sum eating tradition in there, that you did not give the poor restaurant staff hell. Every single year, the one day I fear the most is Mother’s Day. It’s not that I’m not thankful for my mum, she really is awesome. It’s that every year, if I’m in town, no matter who I’m working for, I will help out at the family restaurant. That day is always, hands down, the busiest day of the year for us.

Every single year, even if we extra-staff that day, we will have more guests than available tables and at some point, more tables that needs to be cleaned than staff to clean. I will have at least few parties asking why I’m not cleaning out a table for them because they see there are tables, but I’m not cleaning it for them right that moment. They ask me this like I like getting yelled at by strangers, like I want bad tips for my crew (okay, maybe for one of them, but I adore the rest of them). When it gets busy we take down the number of people in the party, and give them the next number in line. Their ticket number is simply a marker for us, people get very worked up when they have a ticket #50 and I’m calling #54, even if I explain to them over and over that they are waiting for a table for 10, while I’m seating people on my 4 tops.

This years Mother’s Day went pretty well. Only one lady went out of her way to bitch me out. I consider that a win. My mother had a fantastic day overall, another big win.

Writing project for today: “Future Fantastic: Spend a few moments writing about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone really well. Be realistic, but imagine that you have worked hard and achieved all of your aims and ambitions.”

I was raised pretty traditionally Chinese despite having been in America since I was 5. There were things that I was raised to believe in as a Chinese. Now I could be very wrong in my assumption, but I think even in America, a lot of first generation Chinese that speaks very little English are not working jobs that have pension or 401k plans. In Hong Kong and China, I don’t think there are very many jobs that have anything like a pension plan unless you’re working for the government.  Most of the old folks either have some cash stashed away or their kids are their pension plan. Which is to say, I’ve grown up with the assumption that I am my parents’ pension plan. It’s not something I resent or fear, it simply is the circle of my life.

When I pictured taking care of my parents when they are old, I pictured them as an old couple together. I didn’t think to picture in the cheating bastard father, who fathered who knows how many bastard children with the string of women he cheated with. Nor did I envision his wife beating ways would cause my family to call the cops on him resulting in restraining orders placed on him. After many years of beating, my mom finally got the courage to divorce him, but being very old-fashioned Chinese herself, she never really believed the divorce was real.  She thought she was scaring some senses into him.  Instead, less than a year after the divorce he remarried a Vietnamese woman about my sister’s age and had more children with her soon after. Just like that, less than 2 years after 30 something odd years of being with this family, he created an entire set of new family. We didn’t keep much in contact because his new wife was the jealous type.

As messed up as this sounds, I still wish to be able to take care of both my parents when they are old. Even though, my father did a lot of things wrong, he was always a good father to me. He has so much money issues now in this down economy and I feel so bad that I can’t do much to help him. Right now, I’m hardly in the position to even take care of myself. In the future, I want for enough success for myself, be it being a lawyer or running my own business, that I can comfortably take care of two elderly parents. My mother, right now, is understandably bitter toward my father. It causes her pain to think that we would ever speak to him again. So in order for me to be able to provide for my father, I feel like I have to first sufficiently provide for my mother.

My mother is currently very well off, there is a good chance she will need nothing from me in the future. However, in order for me to be okay with myself for providing for someone that has caused my mother so much pain, I need to first get over the guilt by making sure my mom would want for absolutely nothing.

Understanding that true achievable goals are broken down to more attainable steps, I still aim for a future where I can work hard enough to achieve enough to take care of my parents when they are old. I know I am currently working hard at putting myself in the right position to be able to take care of two elderly separately, and in my fantastic future, this will be done without upsetting my mother. Also, I want a Barbie Dreamhouse with all the little outfits and cool little hangers for them, and I can crochet well enough to make her some chintzy looking dresses.

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